by Rachel Ogbu
To millions of people around the world, Chinua Achebe, 82 was seen as the father of African literature. His books, especially ‘Things Fall Apart’ was highly reverened and part of the curriculum of many schools around the world.
The tributes coming in since the news broke yesterday that the award winning novelist had passed away in Boston has been endless.
In a statement, Achebe’s family requested privacy, and paid tribute to “one of the great literary voices of all time. He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him.”
“He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him. Professor Achebe’s family requests privacy at this time.”
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan said Achebe’s admirers had all learnt “indelible lessons of human existence” from his works.
“Achebe’s frank, truthful and fearless interventions in national affairs will be greatly missed at home in Nigeria because while others may have disagreed with his views, most Nigerians never doubted his immense patriotism and sincere commitment to the building of a greater, more united and prosperous nation that all Africans and the entire black race could be proud of,” the president said in a statement.
Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, called him an “utterly remarkable man”. “Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death,” he said.
A spokesman for the Anambra state governor Peter Obi told the BBC sout-eastern Nigeria was in mourning for its “illustrious son”.
Right up until his death Achebe worked as Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and was the David and Marianna University Professor.
Nelson Mandela had once called him “the writer in whose company the prison walls came down”, and credited him as the author who “brought Africa to the rest of the world”
Last year, Achebe had published a long-awaited memoir ,’There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra,’ about the brutal three-year Biafran war, when the south-eastern Igbo region tried to split from Nigeria in 1967.
Watch foriegn students act scene from Things Fall Apart for course project.
RIP. “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” – Chinua Achebe
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) March 22, 2013
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) March 22, 2013
Chinua Achebe, the damnation of faint praise: thenewinquiry.com/blogs/zunguzun…
— Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) March 22, 2013
I send my condolences to the people of Nigeria & the family of Chinua Achebe. We have lost a great son & the “Father of African Literature”
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 22, 2013
Things Fall Apart in 3 Minutes
YNaija reporter, Rachel Ogbu caught up with Jeric Basilio on Twitter. He’s responsible for this video titled ‘Things Fall Apart in 3 Minutes.’
“Thanks for watching. It was for an English project that I was assigned prior to reading it.”
“Chinua Achebe is a great inspiration to me. He changed our views on Africa. He gave Africa a voice,” he said.
Watch the video here:
Another video based on the book; ‘Things Fall Apart.’
“Our IB HL English class was given the assignment to pitch a movie based on a book that we had read this year, and my group was assigned Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I directed, edited, and starred (regretfully) in this trailer but despite my acting job, I think it came out pretty well. Props to David for coming out here from Arlington County to be our DP and Stedicam operator. He’s a much better filmmaker than me, so sub him if you’d like”